Pupils who miss GCSE grades urged to seek advice

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Students sitting exams
Image caption,
Last year, the number of pupils who went back into education after taking GCSEs rose

Pupils who do not get the GCSE grades they were expecting have been told not to panic and to seek advice.

Sarah Finnigan-Dehn from Careers Wales said failure to get expected grades did not mean options were closed.

Ms Finnigan-Dehn said: "I'd advise anyone to contact Careers Wales who can help them navigate through the options that are available."

Wales has fallen further behind most of the UK for the highest grades at GCSE, figures show.

Ms Finnigan-Dehn admitted it was a difficult time because of the recession, but said: "Young people need to think about themselves.

"One of the things you have to say is 'what do I have to offer an employer?'

"If there is a job out there, somebody is going to get the job.

"In terms of young people who are 'Neet' [not in education, employment, or training], last year the number of 16-year-olds leaving as Neets was less because more people went back into training.

"In Wales, over 37,000 young people completed statutory education after year 11, and 30,000 continued on to education.

"Over 2,000 went on to work-based training."

The percentage of 16-year-olds currently classed as Neet is 5.7%.

She said anyone who found themselves without the grades they had hoped for should check out the situation with their school or sixth-form college first to see what was available for them now and speak to the school and teachers.

"People in Wales are fortunate to have an all-age careers guidance service," she said.

The service is awaiting the outcome of a review completed in early summer.

Ms Finnigan-Dehn said the Institute of Career Guidance was urging the assembly government the strengthen the careers guidance service in Wales, adding that the UK coalition government was looking at adopting a similar all-age careers service model.